Photos from Our Upcoming Film

I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve wrapped shooting for Flex Your Rights’ upcoming film, 10 Rules for Dealing with Police! And we’ve got pictures to share.

We’re now in the editing phase and are scheduled to release the completed film before the year’s end.

Shooting was an exhilarating process, and I can scarcely describe the joy of seeing our vision finally come to life. Our production team, led by Producer Roger Sorkin and Director Rubin Whitmore, did an outstanding job controlling the chaos. And Billy Murphy dazzles as our starring narrator.

My heartfelt thanks goes out to all of you for continuing to support our work and making this project possible. (If you’re signed up to our email list, you’ll be the first to know when the completed film is ready.)

BTW: It’s not to late to see your name appear in the screen credits! If you donate $100 or more to 10 Rules between now and Oct. 15, your name will appear in the screen credits. For each additional $100 you may add a friend or family member’s name too.


The Epidemic of Pot Arrests in New York City

Marijuana possession is technically decriminalized in New York City. Yet in 2008 NYPD made 40,000 marijuana possession arrests. How did they do it? Friend of Flex Prof. Harry G. Levine explains how in this excellent Alternet analysis. Few scholars appreciate the connection between easy pot arrests and the waiver of constitutional rights as well as he does.


New Video Coming Soon!

10 Rules Director Rubin Whitmore II (center)

I’m thrilled to announce our next video, Flex Your Rights: 10 Rules for Dealing with Police (previously titled Street Law), is scheduled for release this fall!

Thanks to a terrific group of individual and foundation givers we’ve raised $100,000 and are carrying out our vision to produce the most outstanding know-your-rights video ever.

The vision emerged as we traveled the nation teaching (and learning) about the best strategies for dealing with police. We’ve also made friends with some of the nation’s most brilliant legal minds and champions of social justice.


Rachel Hoffman: Another Reason to Know Your Rights

ABC’s 20/20 covers the tragic death of 23-year-old Florida girl, Rachel Hoffman. Caught with what the Tallahassee police chief described as “about a baggie” of marijuana, she was tricked/blackmailed/threatened into becoming a police informant.

The chief blames Rachel for her death, repeatedly calling her a drug criminal. But it is clear that he is a scoundrel defending incompetent, callous officers who sent a sheep into a lions’ den.


No Warrant, No Search [Video]: Flex Goes Door-to-door with DC ACLU

A couple weeks ago Scott and I joined the National Capitol Area ACLU for a door-to-door outreach effort in Southeast D.C. warning citizens about a “knock and talk” program the DC Police Department threatened to implement.

This short video, which was my first behind-the-camera creation, tells the story:

I couldn’t have scripted this much better: At about 1:35 into the video, a woman mistakes us for the police and eagerly invites us in to search her home. It’s funny, but it proves our point about why this information is needed. (For all she knows, someone could have left some marijuana under her couch cushion for an officer to find and get her and her family kicked out of public housing.)

Responding to the unexpected public backlash generated through such community outreach, DC Police Chief Lanier recently announced that her so-called Safe Homes initiative would be scaled back. Under the new plan, police will not go door-to-door requesting consent. Citizens wishing to be searched must instead call the police and invite them into their homes.

In other words, the good guys won, and Chief Lanier was left to take the blame for her hare-brained initiative.

For a refresher on how to refuse home searches, watch this.


No thanks, Officer. I’m not interested in your free home search offer

This Saturday the National Capital Area ACLU is organizing a training day to educate the community on how to prevent warrantless police searches of their homes. Scott Morgan and I will be there representing FyR, and I’ll try to get some interviews with my new video camera that I’ll post online.